Beijing, Part 6: The Great Wall


I would normally begin my Saturday morning with a cup of coffee and a tour of China..with Tess Karlinski.. but I have to be out of the house really early and so I am sneaking my usual reblog in now.. the Great Wall of China is visible from space.. what an undertaking and a lot of steps.. Thankfully Tess climbed them for us and I #recommend you head over and enjoy the sights without the tourists.. thanks Tess another great post.

How the Cookie Crumbles

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Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin

I ate too much again at the buffet-style breakfast. We English 8 met in the main lobby at 8:30 a.m., then traveled an hour or so by mini tour bus to the mysterious Great Wall.

A few facts about the Wall:

  • Sticky rice soup and mortar were used to glue the bricks together
  • Started -200 BC
  • Has been worked for over 2,000 years
  • Bullet holes from last battle still evident
  • Needs expensive maintenance due to time and tourism

Some shops                                                                              A few shops

What a happening place. Tour buses clogged available parking space. Small shops galore offered touristy goods for sale, from postcards to fridge magnets, hot tea…

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Getting By With a Little Help…


Barb Caffrey is celebrating the release of her latest book Changing Faces – we all want to promote our own books.. but if all of us share one author’s book with our own connections today…that makes a huge difference to that author and to us as a community.. So please head over and share Barb’s post and make a difference.. thanks Sally

Barb Caffrey's Blog

Folks, this past week has been a whirlwind. I’ve had ups, downs, two band rehearsals, book promotion activities, all that…but one thing is certain:

I appreciate my friends, in and out of the writing community.

Friends are amazing. Having people in your life who understand you is one of the greatest blessings available on this Earth. No, it might not be up there with chocolate, or romantic love, or the Milwaukee Brewers winning the World Series (that has to be on the horizon sooner or later, right?), but friends make a huge difference in your life.

I know this, because without mine, I would be in big trouble.

This past week, I had several friends step up and help me in various ways.

First, Chris the Story-Reading Ape posted a book spotlight for CHANGING FACES, my new novel, at his very busy blog on less than three hours notice…

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Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Leyton, Hollywood, #Trysts, Llandeilo and DNA


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the last Blogger Daily of the week and Monday’s will be the last until I return from my week away with my sisters.  So please help me out and leave the link to your latest post so that I can share…kicking off today’s episode is Jessica Norrie.

Jessica Norrie

Jessica Norrie had some technical issues with printers and cars this week that necessitated some free time spent in Leyton High Road.. a very multi-cultural part of London that demonstrates retail integration.

I lost two hours to a petulant printer which greeted the joyous news of my novel’s complete first draft grudgingly. It ground out crumpled disordered sheets and required intense therapy every ten pages. A charming (no, really: I asked for and value her knowledge) Gujarati speaking friend then pointed out everything that was wrong with the chapters featuring my Hindu family. Ten percent of the 300 hard won pages is effectively waste paper.”See?” crowed the printer.”I told you you should have waited.”

See some great photos of Leyton High Road and read the rest of the post: https://jessicanorrie.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/the-tiresome-tyre-and-the-petulant-printer/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

A little detour from Leyton High Road to Hollywood as the fanfare and glitter that is the Oscars is nearly upon us.  I love to watch the awards.. but prefer to fast forward when I do get to see them passed the stuttering and the tears.. and the hurry up music.  But I do love to see the films I have enjoyed receiving their accolades.  Here is a guide to some of the main categories that might interest you if like me you love the movies.

Plagman writes for http://www.movie-blogger.com

The Academy Awards, I don’t believe I’m typing this, are next weekend, if you can believe it, so I thought I’d take a minute and isolate the hardest categories to predict. The BAFTA’s were last weekend, and the results there have caused a couple of shake-ups in some categories. So here’s a rundown of what I think the hardest categories to predict are.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

This is a mano y mano between Casey Affleck, who swept the board until late January when competitor Denzel Washington won the SAG Award, which has correctly predicted Best Actor at the Oscars since 2003. One other thing to consider, Manchester by the Sea seems like a film that reached its high point in popularity when nominations were announced. Since then, Fences seems to be the more popular film between the two, and with Viola Davis guaranteed a win for her work in the film, it feels like you can’t award one performance with award the other, yet Casey won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor, which has gotten 8 out of the last 10 Best Actors correct at the Oscars. Man, this one will come down to the wire, but I’m sticking with Denzel until I see some more evidence that Casey’s coming back out front.

Read about the other categories: http://www.movie-blogger.com/2017-academy-awards-hardest-categories-predict/

poetic-ritualsNow a response to one of Sue Vincent’s #WritePhoto.. This time by Poet Ritu Bhathal with #Tryst – Wartime and a young couple whose paths cross in a village….

Meet me!”

She looked at him, his eyes pleading with her as well as his words.

“Please, Rebecca, meet me tonight.”

It was Jake’s last night here before he left to join the rest of the local young men, joining up to fight for King and country.

For the last few months, their growing attraction to one another had been hard to control. She had fallen for his chocolate brown eyes, ever since she popped into Farmer Smith’s farm shop for her aunt to pick up any eggs he had available.

Even though she was not a child, her parents had sent her to the village where her aunt lived, as a precautionary measure, alongside her younger siblings.

Read the rest of the story: https://butismileanyway.com/2017/02/16/tryst-writephoto/

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The Llandeilo Lit Fest organised by author Christoph Fischer begins on April 27th through to Sunday 30th April.. There is a packed calendar of literary events that I have included a link to.. Even if you do not live locally there is some stunning scenery in the area and some great places to stay.

The festival is a four day programme of literary events running from Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th April. During the festival readings, discussions, workshops and literary talks will take place across Llandeilo including at the Cawdor Hotel, Horeb Chapel, Eve’s Toy Shop, the Fountain Fine Art Gallery, the Civic Hall and the Angel Inn. A book hunt will also take place in the town. There are children’s competitions to enter and the Lit Fest will be hosting a two day book fair in the Civic Hall.

Festival in chronological order:

Thursday April 27th, 2pm at Llandeilo Library
William Williams Pantycelyn
Yr Athro Densil Morgan ac Elinor Jones yn trafod bywyd, gwaith a dylanwad William Williams Pantycelyn yn nodi 300 mlwyddiant yr emynydd a’r bardd o Lanfair ar y Bryn.
Prof. Densil Morgan and Elinor Jones explore the work and life of the world’s most prolific hymn writer and Llandovery’s most famous son, in the year of his 300th anniversary.

Tursday April 27th 7pm at the Angel Inn
Is romance dead? Bringing depth to romance novels – a discussion with Kate Glanville and Brenda Squires

Read the rest of the packed calendar: https://llandeilolitfest.org/calendar/

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Now for a very useful post by Noelle Granger on DNA.. fascinating stuff.. having traced my (maternal) mitochondrial DNA back 20,000 years, I gave my husband the gift of the ‘Y’ chromosome DNA test for his recent birthday..Looks like he walked more than a few thousand miles to get to me. Anyway Noelle has laid it all out for us.. do read you will find very interesting especially if you are an author and need to include in your stories.

It seems like you can’t read a newspaper or online news about anything related to medicine (not to mention some novels) without running into terms such as DNA, RNA and protein, all sorts. I thought maybe I could provide a primer, in bite-sized bits, which you could use to follow along. The information I will begin with DNA.

DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid, the material that makes up our genes, and it is composed of nucleotides. Each nucleotide contains a phosphate group (phosphorus and oxygen), a sugar group and a nitrogen base. The four types of nitrogen bases are adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). They pair up with each other to make a single strand of nucleotides into double stranded DNA: cytosine with guanine, adenine with thymine.

Read the rest of the article: https://saylingaway.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/all-that-genetic-stuff-dna/

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the link to your most recent post in the comments.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Hugh W. Roberts, Charles E. Yallowitz and Stevie Turner


Welcome to today’s author update and to get us off to a flying start another terrific view for Hugh W. Robert’s short story collection Glimpses.. This time by Robbie Cheadle of Robbies …

Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Hugh W. Roberts, Charles E. Yallowitz and Stevie Turner

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Hugh W. Roberts, Charles E. Yallowitz and Stevie Turner


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Welcome to today’s author update and to get us off to a flying start another terrific view for Hugh W. Robert’s short story collection Glimpses.. This time by Robbie Cheadle of Robbies Inspiration and author with her son Michael of the Sir Chocolate Books.

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About Glimpses

After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who suffers from dyslexia, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book. Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a rollercoaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.

‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.

If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh. Here’s what one reader has already said about the book. “If you’re looking for a thoroughly entertaining read, Glimpses is the book for you. Each story has been cleverly crafted; through Hugh’s wonderful imagination, he has the ability to whisk you away to many different worlds, past, present and future.

Robbies review: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/glimpses-by-hugh-w-roberts-my-book-review/

I found Glimpses by Hugh W. Roberts to be quite a unique book. It is a collection of short stories, mainly written along a supernatural theme. I am a great lover of supernatural and horror books and have been avidly reading Stephen King since I was ten years old, so this was right up my street. I had two absolute favourite stories/groupings of stories in this lovely book.

My outright favourite was The Truth App which I read twice. It is a collection of a few short stories all in the same theme and it really “creeped” me out. Maybe I identified with it so much because it is all about blogging and bloggers which is a world in which I have recently become very immersed. I must say that I had to stop reading this tale in the evenings because it was giving me bad dreams. My advice to bloggers and other readers of this book, be careful what apps you choose to download!

My other outright winner was a short story about a woman who goes to India to have eye and dental treatment. This one stayed firmly in my mind because it made me reflect on the fact that, even if you read the completely incomprehensible list of ingredients on cosmetic and facial and other products, one rarely has any idea of what really goes into that cream that you are liberally apply all over your face. It also summoned up horrible thoughts of articles that I have read recently about testing medications and products on animals. A story that can make you think like that has got to be superb.

I found rating this book a huge conundrum because five star rating doesn’t allow for much scope with rating. I actually don’t really like this limited system. I finally settled on four out of five because I really enjoyed this book but I have rated my favourite Stephen King books five out of five, namely, The Stand, The Shining and The Dead Zone. These are lengthily novels which gives the writer a lot more scope to flesh out the characters and his ideas and story line. It felt reasonable to give Glimpses four out of five on this comparative basis.

I would recommend this book but, perhaps, don’t read it at night when you are home alone.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP

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Connect to Hugh via his blog: http://hughsviewsandnews.com/

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The second author update is for Charles E. Yallowitz who has just released Chasing Bedlam Book Two… the sequel to Crossing Bedlam.

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

About the book

Lloyd and Cassidy’s last adventure was to honor a life. This time they are out to end one.It was a normal, violent mission to Texas that should have had nothing more than beer-induced hiccups. That is until an old enemy makes off with Cassidy’s jeep and most of their gear. Needless to say, she’s pissed off and challenging Lloyd for the psychopath of the month award. With the mouthy serial killer by her side, she is going on the warpath from Dallas to Miami even if it means declaring war on the drug cartels.So strap in for another wild ride through the Shattered States and learn why you never mess with Cassidy’s jeep.

 Buy Chasing Bedlam: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X8ZCGG5/

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One of the reviews for Crossing Bedlam.

So. Much. Fun.  By Ionia Froment TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 29, 2016

Crossing Bedlam is chaos between two covers. I liked this book for all of the action and the strange characters. When I say strange, I mean that they remind you of a lot of favourite villains and unlikely heroes all rolled into a couple of badass characters that keep the story interesting. I think this book will appeal to a wide audience (adults) because of the female lead character and her crazy and yet highly entertaining partner in crime–and other things–Lloyd.

The idea behind this story is interesting and the author did a good job of describing his shattered states and coming up with creative ideas for how to show the destruction that has happened in his version of the apocalyptic USA. If you are a fan of fast moving plots with lots of unexpected twists and books that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end, this would be a good one to choose. I particularly liked the scenes that dealt with wild animals on the loose.Even the supporting characters are exciting in this one. Recommended.

A selection of books by Charles Yallowitz

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Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

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 Connect to Charles via his blog –  www.legendsofwindemere.com

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My next author update is for Stevie Turner with her memoir Waiting in the Wings which first appeared here as a new release in December. I am delighted to update it with its most recent review.

51abcfiqqgl-_uy250_About Waiting in the Wings.

At the grand old age of 92, my mother Dot suddenly starts telling me that she loves me. I am quite dumbstruck at these outbursts of emotion, as she has never mentioned the fact before in all of my 58 years. Over the entire course of my lifetime we have often argued bitterly, and have never really seen eye-to-eye over anything. I squirm with the inner knowledge that she wants me to reply in a similar vein, but try as I might, I cannot.

The guilt I feel at being unable to grant Dot her wish is overwhelming. As Dot’s health deteriorates more towards the final chapters of her life, I take on the role of carer. I find the only way to bring her out of her perpetual misery is to reminisce on past events by showing her old family photographs, and by helping her to remember holidays and happier times. We look back without anger and sometimes with a lot of laughter, getting to know each other better, raking over the past, and talking more than we have ever done. The process helps me, a middle-aged woman, understand the perils of ageing that I might one day face, and also the struggles that elderly people suffer on a day-to-day basis while stoically attempting to maintain their independence.

This is a true story, told in flashbacks and in modern-day often humorous conversations with my mother.

The most recent review

I greatly enjoyed this biography as we are invited to have a look into the childhood of Dot Stevie’s mother and soon after also following Stevie’s childhood in a part of Eastern London that now is changing due to a total makeover. Dot doesn’t seem to have much understanding for her only child which causes lots of tension through out Stevie’s childhood and youth. The key to understand this lies in Dot’s early childhood where she was put away in a hospital without being allowed to have visits from her mother. Her father had totally forsaken family and as we get glimpses of Dot’s early life she is more understood by the reader to have had difficulties in relationships.

I enjoyed the way the book is built up so that you change between the childhood of Stevie and background of Dot and the presence describing the frailty of Dot’s health and her stubbornness she shares with many old people. It seems that love and acceptance is growing between mother and daughter as Dot starts to articulate her gratitude to Stevie for her faithful help.

Read the reviews and BUY the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Waiting-Wings-Stevie-Turner-ebook/dp/B01M3MOEPV

A selection of other books by Stevie Turner.

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU

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Connect to Stevie via her Website:  http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk

Thanks for dropping by today and if you are already in the bookstore please remember to keep me up to date with any new releases or terrific reviews. If you are NOT in the bookstore.. here is how you can join the 145 other authors.  Thanks Sally

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Denny Ryder Paranormal Crime Series by Deborah A. Bowman


Today the feartured author is Deborah A. Bowman and a look at the Denny Ryder Paranormal Crime Series beginning with Stroke of Fear. This book is age appropriate for teens, young adults and adults …

Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Denny Ryder Paranormal Crime Series by Deborah A. Bowman

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Denny Ryder Paranormal Crime Series by Deborah A. Bowman


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Today the featured author is Deborah A. Bowman and a look at the Denny Ryder Paranormal Crime Series beginning with Stroke of Fear. This book is age appropriate for teens, young adults and adults interested in the paramormal.

51dzsqrppnl-_uy250_About the book

Stroke of Fear starts off with a bang! Denise Ryder is in the midst of a gruesome car accident. She’s thrown against the door, pitched to the floor, twisted upside-down, falling, as she claws her way out of a shattered window. She hears loud crashes, hysterical screams, screeching metal, and the voices of two dear friends. Her stomach heaves, and she’s choking, gagging, can’t breathe! Blood is everywhere.

10 YEARS LATER: Pleasant memories of her childhood. She grins at the antics of the two sisters, different as night and day. Denny is just waking up from a soothing, happy dream. She’s had “dreams come true” since she was a child. Sounds like a fairy tale, right? Wrong! It’s her nightmares from that come to life! Yet, she does everything in her power to deny the images.

Denny becomes embroiled in a missing child investigation. When a dream shows her where the boy is, she won’t let herself believe it. A twist of fate reveals that the dream “could” be true. She’s scared, but relieved that she can take action based on fact. She meets Detective Ted Collins, an investigator who doesn’t scoff at the paranormal. The two of them use facts, clues, and intuitive visions to piece the case together. Will they be able to save Jeremy?

A new piece of evidence pulls Denny into another horrific dream. She fears she’s had an out-of-body experience where she meets the psychopathic serial killer who feeds on the blood of innocent children. Denny isn’t even sure whether she believes in astral projection or not, but somehow she becomes caught between the dreamscape and reality. She knows she can’t be both places at the same time. Where does she go from here, and what about Jeremy?

Here is a review for the series as well as for Stroke of Fear.
 

The “STROKE OF” novella series is unlike anything else I’ve ever read. I don’t read a ton of Paranormal literature, but I’ve read enough to have covered most of the major tropes in the sub-genre. STROKE OF FEAR employs several common tropes to great effect, including a physically disabled psychic, lucid dreams, second sight, and dreams a harbingers of future (or current) events. What makes STROKE OF FEAR unique isn’t the setup or the characters, but rather the style of the writing and the way the story is told.

BOWMAN has found a way to marry some pretty dark thematic material to a lighthearted writing style. Somehow it works. I didn’t know what to think of it at first, but BOWMAN won me over, and by the time I finished this relatively short novella, I was ready to read the next two.

Though the author indicates that each of “STROKE OF” novellas is a standalone book, I found that they’re more a serialization of a longer plot arc that deals with a missing boy. Yes, each novella has a self-contained plot arc as well, but the three novellas are all required to finish the longer, most compelling plot line. Go into this first book knowing that you’ll need to buy the next two to have your curiosity satisfied fully.

These are interesting, unique novellas and worth the read if you enjoy paranormal. Even more so if you eschew gore; while the novellas don’t shy away from the darker aspects of the story, BOWMAN steers clear of anything too graphic, which I for one appreciated.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/STROKE-Novella-Denny-Ryder-Paranormal-ebook/dp/B00CFWYAX4

The other books in the series

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Also by Deborah A. Bowman

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Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Bowman/e/B00MDD6QMS

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About Deborah A. Bowman

Deborah Bowman has been sharing her stories and poems her whole life–her first poem published in a 4-H magazine at just 12 years old. She loves just about all genres of fiction and collects classical literature. Deborah’s recent selections are close to her heart. She has a passion and a crusade for the headline-driven factual material which she weaves into novels and novellas. She is also child-like and whimsical!

Deborah is also a professional editor and you can find out more about this essential writers resource here.  https://bowmanauthor.com/editorial-and-publishing-services/

Connect to Deborah on her blog and social media

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7980347.Deborah_A_Bowman
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bowmanbooks
Blog: https://www.bowmanauthor.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bowmanauthor

Thank you for dropping by and please feel free to leave your feedback and to share Deborah’s work around the usual haunts.. thank you Sally

If you are not currently in the bookstore then it is very easy… here are the details of the promotions available for authors and bloggers on Smorgasbord.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-free-author-and-blogger-promotion-2017/